Woman Sues Mayor For Order Demanding She Remove City Links From Her Website
from the abuse-of-power dept
GigaLaw points us to the news of a lawsuit filed by a woman in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, against that city’s mayor and other officials for demanding that she remove links to the city’s police department from her website. The woman believes that the demand was in response to her own support of an effort to recall the mayor.
Apparently, sometime after this effort, the mayor’s secretary asked the city attorney if it was legal for the woman to link to the city’s police department website from her web design company’s website (totally separate from the website about the mayor’s recall). The city attorney told the mayor that a link is perfectly legal — but offered to send a cease-and-desist anyway, which the mayor approved. The woman says she felt threatened in getting a cease-and-desist from the mayor’s office and took the link down.
From the facts presented in the article, this certainly sounds like an abuse of power. There’s nothing inherently illegal in just linking to someone else’s website, and it appears the city attorney even knew this. So it looks like the mayor and the city attorney decided to send the cease-and-desist anyway to intimidate the woman — which worked (at least temporarily). While it’s not clear if this woman will be able to win any damages, it’s good to see her fighting back against what appears to be an abuse of power.